Implementing a patient management system is critical for healthcare organizations. Waiting lines and overcrowded hospitals are areas where most hospitals can improve. Patient flows are a real issue that most hospitals struggle to cope with. Inefficient scheduling and overcrowded emergency areas make it hard for patients and healthcare professionals to provide the best service, but this problem isn’t limited to the emergency department. In clinics or doctors’ offices, scheduled appointments may suffer from bad patient flow, too. Many healthcare organizations cannot actually deal with the costs of patient flow.
Patients expect a certain level of service or information in clinics or hospitals. Yet most patients’ experience at the hospitals is painful, no matter the cost to pay. How does a patient management system improve patient flow at hospitals - but also decrease the huge administrative costs associated with poor patient care?
Hospital or clinic waiting rooms are often crowded as unforeseen visitors arrive in emergencies, and walk-aways increase as visitors lose patience all resulting in even poorer patient care. The experience for patients in waiting rooms can be painful and stressful. Practitioners also suffer from stress as they struggle to meet their patient’s needs in the best ways.
How to Define Patient Flow?
Patient flow is the movement of people visiting a hospital or clinic. It can be either walk-ins, visitors in emergencies, or patients with an existing appointment. A patient management system can impact patient flow. It’s uncomfortable for patients to sit in noisy or crowded waiting rooms when they are already stressed or worried. This is why patient flow management is critical to a hospital’s organization.
Long queues are also a major issue in healthcare especially if there’s an emergency. Patient flow should help practitioners handle their job easily. Improving patient flow is a critical activity for any healthcare organization. The entire process requires managing the movement of the patients in care pathways as well as optimizing the human resources on site.
Consequences of Poor Patient Flow
If a clinic or hospital fails at using a patient management system, it can damage patient flow. There are four main costly consequences of poor patient flow.
- Health outcomes such as urgencies or mortality rates can result from poor patient flow in hospitals. Re-admissions or urgent surgeries can also lead practitioners to work in a hurry or under stress. Poor patient flow may create a more stressful environment both for patients and practitioners.
- Increased costs are significant for healthcare organizations when they fail at meeting patient care or handling patient flow efficiently. As they need to manage extra activity (emergency units) or unpredictable longer queues, operational costs may rise, for example, to hire extra staff.
- Delays in treating patients result in poor customer service. Without an efficient patient management system in place, patients can end up waiting for hours, suffer from stress, and can feel unwelcome. In hospitals more than anywhere else, patient care should be outstanding. But if patient flow is poorly managed, patients don’t feel comfortable and can even become more stressed.
- Walk-aways may occur as long waiting lines increase and may also be a result of bad patient flow management. Patients may return home without being seen, leaving the staff unsure of what to do next. Walk-ins and walk-aways need to be managed efficiently. Yet walk-ins and walk-aways are difficult to manage for everyone in the healthcare unit.
What solutions are available today for healthcare organizations to reduce waiting in lines while eliminating bottlenecks and painful administrative tasks? How can a good patient management system improve patient flow? How can patients feel better when they come to the hospital or a clinic?
Hospital Strategies Need Good Patient Flow Management
We covered it: bad patient flow is bad for everyone. And healthcare organizations need to invest in outstanding technology to reduce it as much as possible.
Out-of-date processes and paperwork can impede patient care. Everyone can suffer from poor patient flow from the nurses to the patients, along with practitioners and administrative staff. To reduce inefficiencies, healthcare organizations must learn how to choose the right patient management system and boost their performance while providing the best care to patients.
Patient care is the objective number one of any hospital or clinic. Time and care are the main priorities healthcare organizations seek to give to their patients. Good patient flow can benefit patients and organizations in three ways:
- Reduce healthcare costs associated with extra, unplanned activities stemming from poor patient flow. Healthcare costs in the US are tremendous. We estimate that US workers and their companies spend, on average, $19,000 per year on healthcare costs. A third of this sum goes toward administration fees that cover paperwork or bills.
- Improve queue management and ensure patients are well received on-site by implementing a patient management system such as a queue management system. Such technology not only benefits the patients but also the hospital employees who handle scheduled appointments, walk-ins, walk-aways, and emergencies.
- The way staff plans and organizes at hospitals can have an impact on patient flow management. As part of great patient care, staff should professionally welcome patients to line up and enter their details on their systems. They connect them with the right care unit or practitioners. With good patient flow, the staff can focus on providing the best customer service to patients.
Which solutions can be implemented by hospitals today to achieve excellent patient care tomorrow? What technology can provide greater patient flow experience? Is there an app or patient management system that can make the patient experience nicer?
QLess Queue Management App: Key Benefits for Patients
The game-changing technology developed by QLess offers the best patient management system for healthcare organizations. QLess technology has developed outstanding solutions that positively impact patient experience in hospitals. There are multiple ways patients and healthcare professionals can benefit from the Cloud-based solutions and services offered by QLess:
Accurate, Real-Time Information
The QLess healthcare patient management system provides accurate information for patients when they visit a clinic or a hospital. Patients can download an app and join a virtual queue that gathers all the important information they need. The line manager app improves patient flow as patients are informed about delays or the time to wait in queues. They can then drop the queue or register when they arrive.
Elimination Of Long Queues And Waiting Times
The line manager app and appointment scheduling solutions have a huge impact on patient flow management. Thanks to the app, there are less crowded waiting rooms since patients are aware of their next turn. They can remotely join the line and wait for their turn with the patient management system. Lastly, patients can wait at home or outside or wherever they wish and come to the hospital right on time for their appointment.
Improvement of Staff Workflow
The QLess queue management app also benefits the staff as they are updated on their current workflow. They can focus on patients more efficiently and dedicate more time to them. Overall, their productivity can increase, leading them to serve patients in a better way. They can consult scheduled appointments and be prepared in case of emergencies or welcome walk-in visitors. It also allows them to communicate with practitioners more efficiently.
Better Customer Service
The patient management system lets patients schedule their appointments ahead of time. They no longer need to wait at the hospital and lose their time when they arrive in crowded healthcare units. They can receive texts and updated notifications that reduce frustration or fear. Thanks to efficient scheduling, patient flow is improved resulting in fewer complaints from patients.
Friendly Communications With Staff And Doctors
If doctors are running late, patients are notified which reduces their frustration. Similarly, patients can drop the queue and notify the staff they are returning home. With the QLess patient management system, all communication is bilateral and increases efficiency which reduces patient walk-aways, and improves patient experience at the healthcare facility. Friendly communication between patients and staff has an impact on patient flow management, too. This communication leads to great customer service which in turn boosts patient’s satisfaction by 99%.
Data Collection For Better Decision Making
The QLess app helps healthcare professionals collect data on the patient experience at the hospital or the clinic such as the number of patients in line, delays, walk-ins, or walk-away frequencies. Such data is important for improving patient flow and overall healthcare efficiency. The patient management system is perfect for collecting this data. The surveys and results collected through the app enable better decision making and help hospitals plan and execute activities to serve patients better. Healthcare managers can understand more about how patients feel through surveys and gather data to make the experience and operational efficiencies greater for them.
An Overall Better Experience
QLess Cloud Technology is the future of the healthcare industry. The solution helps reduce walk-aways by 75%, improves customer satisfaction by 100%, and boosts healthcare organization’s overall performance. This solution, provided by QLess, provides tremendous benefits to efficiency in the healthcare industry.
Get the most outstanding patient management system available on the market today. Increase your patient’s Net Promoters Score by 20%. Offer patients the care they deserve, decrease your operational costs, and impact your staff productivity.